Three inches of snow and temperatures in the teens doesn’t sound like ideal camping conditions. But, the weather didn’t stop more than 20 people from pitching a tent in front of the Old Northampton Courthouse on Wednesday night, all to raise money for “Monte’s Cancer Connection Campout.”
“I had a great sub-zero sleeping bag, and those little heat warmer things,” explained Caitlin Carvalho, who camped out overnight. “Once you got into your sleeping bag, it was okay.”
Monte Belmonte is a radio DJ on 93.9 The River. He was broadcasting live during the fundraiser, accepting donations from callers, something he’s been doing for 13 years now.
“All of the tents you see here behind us, each of those groups have independently gone out and fundraised on their own to help raise money,” said Belmonte.
The money raised will go to the local non-profit, Cancer Connection. The non-profit provides free services to cancer patients and their caretakers.
“It’s an amazing place,” said Calvarho, who utilized Cancer Connection. “I’m feeling good now and I wanted to campout and raise money to keep everything going.”
Carvalho was diagnosed with cancer 14 months ago. She is now in remission but told 22News, Cancer Connection helped her and her partner, Matt Anderson, get through some tough times.
“Cancer Connection was really helpful,” explained Anderson. “Your friends and family can do a lot for you, but for them, it’s often the first time they’re going through this kind of thing as well, and what do we know?”
Some of the services provided by Cancer Connection include support groups, or activities like learning how to play the harmonica and doing aqua-aerobics.